By Jason Heaton
on 3.24.11

You know that laid-back vibe that pervades among dive boat captains, fishing guides and surfers? It’s a sort of smug contentment that comes from being able to spend most days on, in or under the water in a warm climate. Well, that vibe is a little hard to emulate when you’re digging out from one of the most brutal winters in memory. But Howler Brothers comes to the rescue with clothing that channels the waterman ethos, no matter how landlocked or frozen you are. Howler Brothers was formed by two former surf bums turned family guys, Chase Heard and Andy Stepanian, who wanted to stick to their aquatic roots through designing unique themed shirts for men and women. The company is named for the loudest animal in the hemisphere, the howler monkeys that Chase and Andy heard on a surf trip to Costa Rica.

These shirts aren’t your typical retro slacker uniforms but soft ring-spun cotton and high-tech fabrics with some clever designs and nice touches like contrast stitched shoulder seams and inner taping. We tried a sampling of shirts, from the UPF 45 long sleeved quick-dry Loggerhead (perfect for paddling in the sun) to the drapey, cool Magic Mesh polo (dawn patrol surf session) to the Escher-esque Fish Shaka T (sunset storytelling). All three shirts lived up to their billing, not only performing comfortably but also imbuing the wearer with a sudden desire to open a Red Stripe and wax up the board.

Buy Now: $28-$65

Update: the good folks at Howler Brothers are offering GP readers 25% off their purchase. Just use code “PATROL11″ at check out for the discount. Voila.

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